Tag Archives: Supporting children and young people

Western Isles Council – extensive apprenticeship offer⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partners will publish an extensive list of over 40 apprenticeships which will see posts created from the Butt to Barra, across a wide range of sectors and departments including:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Community Development
  • Child Care
  • Education Attainment
  • Gaelic language assistants
  • Health and Social Care
  • Heritage
  • Human Resource
  • Multi-Media
  • Outdoor/Indoor Education
  • Roads maintenance
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Sport and health
  • Motor Mechanics

The Comhairle will be hosting community meetings throughout the Western Isles to provide full information on the above apprentices. Dates have yet to be confirmed but these meetings will take place the week commencing Monday 5th June 2017 and further details will be publicised closer to the time.

Cllr Angus McCormack, Chairman of Education, Sport and Children’s Services, said:       “This is a fantastic opportunity for people from the Butt to Barra to earn whilst they learn, and very importantly – to do so in their own areas. This ties in very well indeed to the Comhairle’s aims to reverse depopulation, provide our people with the opportunity to remain in their communities, whilst also contributing to the economy. I would encourage those who speak Gaelic and also those who have a particular interest in land management and crofting to keep express their interest in these apprenticeships. I would reiterate once again that the apprenticeships are open to anyone, not just young people, and anyone who feels that they may be interested should register at www.myjobscotland.gov.uk and setup an alert for the job category “Modern Apprenticeships/Trainee” where they will receive notifications by e-mail as soon as the Comhairle’s Apprenticeships posts go live.

“The Comhairle is committed to workforce planning and having a sustainable platform for the future, to help our communities and our islands to flourish and we will continue to work hard to ensure that we achieve these aims.”

Tackling the priorities in QuISE – a joined up approach?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

 

By Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director

Our report ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016’ (QuISE) points to five key aspects of education and practice which we believe should be priorities for improvement if all learners in Scotland are to achieve their potential. Many or all sectors of education should be:

  • exploiting fully the flexibility of Curriculum for Excellence to meet better the needs of all learners;
  • improving arrangements for assessment and tracking to provide personalised guidance and support throughout the learner journey;
  • maximising the contribution of partnerships with other services, parents and the wider community to enhance children’s and young people’s learning experiences;
  • improving further the use of self-evaluation and improvement approaches to ensure consistent high quality of provision; and
  • growing a culture of collaboration within and across establishments and services to drive innovation, sharing of practice and collective improvement.

Looking at these priorities from my perspective in ensuring the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, the employability and skills agenda, and digital learning and teaching, I am struck by how the priorities inter-relate and, indeed, are interdependent.

The flexibility offered by CfE has the potential for schools to design their curriculum structures in ways that reflect fully the local contexts and aspirations of their learners. Within this, the range of progression pathways can then enable children and young people to make suitably brisk progress across the broad general education, and into and through the senior phase.  This needs to be informed by improved assessment and tracking to ensure teachers, learners and parents make the most appropriate decisions at the right time.

However, there is no doubt that the curriculum structures needed to make this a reality rely very strongly on the direct contributions of partners, including agencies and local employers. Collaborations amongst staff within and across schools, with colleagues in colleges, community learning and development and other areas of expertise all combine to enrich the curriculum and motivate learners.

In early learning and childcare provision, primary and secondary schools, the new curriculum area Benchmarks are beginning to support a clearer understanding of learners’ progression across the broad general education. This  will help teachers to plan the breadth, challenge and application of learning that will prepare young people for the three year learner journey of their senior phase.  And that of course involves collaborations and the wide range of qualifications across the SCQF framework, exploiting again the flexibility of CfE in preparing learners for their futures.

Partnerships are the essential element in Developing the Young Workforce. I’m becoming aware of increasingly effective approaches to employability, skills and career education, often promoted through three-ways partnerships amongst schools, colleges and employers.  And by now you’ll be seeing the connections with the other QuISE priorities of collaboration and more informed personal guidance that can help to exploit that full flexibility in CfE.

Digital learning and teaching has great potential to promote and improve partnership working and collaboration, locally, nationally and internationally. Teachers and pupils can gain significantly in learning from the innovative and effective practice of others.  Where digital is central in planning and delivering learning and teaching, and makes use of learners’ own digital skills or develops them further, I’m in no doubt that young people benefit.  Digital can and does support teachers in their tracking and monitoring, reducing bureaucracy and workload.  As digital access and digital skills continues to improve, the opportunities for leaders, practitioners and learners to take steps that address the QuISE priorities are significant.

The individual QuISE chapters on each education sector highlight good practice as well as challenges in providing high quality experiences for all. The key is often the distinct professionalism of leaders and practitioners, engaging individually and collaboratively to reflect and to make the changes that matter.

Finally, effective self-evaluation is central to ensuring continuous improvement in addressing the priorities in QuISE.   I am beginning to see schools, colleges, and community learning and development now looking beyond their own centre and working with all partners in undertaking self-evaluation and analysing evidence.  The benefit will be greater collective understanding of how effectively their curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment genuinely meet their learners’ needs.  Where that process leads to jointly agreed actions for improvement, I’m in no doubt that the learning experiences and the outcomes for all children and young people will also improve.

Confident collaboration for improvement – the legacy of QuISE?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

by Dr Bill Maxwell, HM Chief Inspector of Education

The publication of our report on Quality and improvement in Scottish education (QuISE), ranging back over the period 2012 to 2016, has been a great opportunity to take a step back from more immediate short-term concerns and take a ‘bigger picture’ view of what has been achieved over a period of major reform which has touched every area of Scottish education.

Having launched the report, I would now encourage each education setting to read their dedicated chapter and consider it in their self-evaluation.

Of course there is already good evidence around that, as result of the professionalism and expertise of staff and of course the efforts of learners themselves, outcomes have improved over that stretch of time. National Qualification outcomes have steadily improved and the proportion of young people entering a positive destination post-school now sits at a record high. Although there is still a long way to go, we have also seen evidence of progress in beginning to close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and the least disadvantaged backgrounds.

Equally, of course, not all in the statistical garden in rosy. We have also seen some unwelcome indications that we should be concerned about the pace of progress in literacy and numeracy through the broad general education, for example, and we saw a disappointing set of PISA results for 2015.

The QuISE report, offers a distinctly different, but complementary, perspective from that which you can get by simply looking at the statistics. It provides an analysis based on first-hand observation and evaluation of the quality what is actually happening in playrooms, classrooms, lecture rooms and other educational settings throughout the country. It summarises observation and evaluation undertaken by expert professionals, HM inspectors and indeed many other associates and lay members from education sectors across the country who join our inspection teams contributing a valuable additional perspective.

Our analysis of what has emerged from that more qualitative evidence base over the last four years has led us to conclude that there are some very positive and growing strengths in the provision and practice within Scottish education. These are strengths that align directly with the ambitions of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and other related reforms.

We are seeing improvement in the quality of learning experiences, with the result that young people are increasingly well motivated, engaged and actively involved in their learning. We are seeing schools and other education settings becoming more inclusive, we are seeing a broader range of achievements being promoted and recognised, and we are seeing the impact of strong leadership, with a clear and sustained focus on raising the quality of the day-to-day learning and teaching that learners experience.

The report also sets out a set of five priority areas. This is where we believe targeted improvements in practice and provision would reap dividends in enabling us to make further progress towards meeting our collective national ambition of achieving excellence with equity for all Scottish learners. They include: exploiting more fully the flexibility of CfE; improving assessment and personal support; enhancing partnerships; strengthening approaches to self-evaluation and improvement; and growing a culture of collaborative enquiry. In all cases these go with the flow of current reforms and national strategies and in each case there are already examples of excellent practice in the system.

Taking a longer view of what has been achieved over the last few years, and thinking about where we go next, has also had quite a personal dimension for me, as I retire from the role of Chief Executive of Education Scotland this Summer. As I prepare to move on, I am convinced that the Scottish education system is well placed to make substantial progress across each of these key areas.

If I were to pick out a linking theme it would be about collective commitment across all partners in the education system to work together, to help each other, and indeed to constructively challenge each other, in ways which provide richer, more coherent, more personalised learning pathways capable of matching the needs of all our learners. Confident collaboration for improvement rather than competitive isolation should be the Scottish way, reflecting our deep national commitment to a strong education as a common public good.

Taking account of the themes in this report, and with the National Improvement Framework providing a new level of clarity and focus from national to local level, I am confident that we can rise to the challenge that the OECD left us with following their 2015 review: to make sure we achieve the potential of a progressive programme of national educational reform, by taking bold and specific action to fully realise its benefits. I hope the QuISE report helps inform discussion and debate in education settings of all types, across the whole country, about where that specific action is needed and how boldness can be ensured as it is pursued.

 

My world of work: What career options are available with a qualification in Gàidhlig, Gaelic (Learners) and Gaelic Medium Education?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

My World of Work offers career information, advice and resources to help children and young people learning Gaelic and in GME make informed choices about their future.     It enables children and young people to choose school subjects based on labour market information and career pathways. Find out more.

For information on teaching Gaelic, or through the medium of Gaelic, please visit Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s website

 

 

Looking ahead to our new improved Parentzone Scotland website⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Parentzone Scotland is one of Education Scotland’s three websites that are moving to a new platform by December 2016. The layout, content and structure of Parentzone Scotland will mostly stay the same but it will have a new improved design and enhanced formatting functions.  The new website platform will allow us to make further improvements and enhancements to Parentzone Scotland in future as more content is added to the site.  It will also ensure visitors to the website have a better user experience.

Read more about changes to our other websites or sign up to receive information about news and events which are of interest to parents and carers.

Under the same sky⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The UN is holding a Day of Discussion around children’s rights and the environment. Children from various countries – including Scotland – will be present at the day, and a short video has been produced that highlights some of the issues they will raise.

 

Enjoy and share with your learners and  professional learning networks!

Grants of between £500 and £2,000 -Scotrail’s Community Grants⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Scotrail’s Community Grants Fund
The ScotRail Foundation provides grants of between £500 and £2,000 to grass roots community groups and charities in Scotland.

Your PTA or parents’ group might qualify  as long as there is a wider benefit.  Applicants should read the guidelines before making an online application.
Applications must fit within at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for funding:
• Promotion of positive mental health and wellbeing
• Targeting improvements in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing in primary schools
• Improving the community’s environmental impact at a local level, encourage recycling or upcycling, or run environmental information or outreach programmes.
The next deadline for applications is 30 September 2016. 
Contact: Foundation Scotland, Tel: 0131 524 0340 [ e-mail | website

‘DYW – interesting practice’ exemplars: First six now live!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Int Prac exemp KibbleThe first six ‘DYW interesting practice’ exemplars have now been published on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub, taking account the increasing number of activities around the implementation of this agenda.  These exemplars aim to inspire thinking and discussion around a particular project or key issue as well as to provide people with contacts to collaborate as they progress on their journeys to enhance children and young peoples’ opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work.

The following exemplars are available:

  • Skills Academy programme at St Matthew’s Academy (North IMG_0636Ayrshire): Young people gain vital employability and life skills through this unique initiative.
  • SCOTS programme at Forth Valley College: Helps  learners consider college courses as a progression route in the senior phase.
  • Kibble Education and Care Centre: Delivers a wide range of uniquely integrated services to equip disadvantaged young people with the skills and experience to pursue a fulfilling career and a brighter future
  • 2+3 pilot project in East Ayrshire: Re-engages young people in the senior phase to peruse industry-focused learning  pathways.
  • Developing Career Management Skills – Millburn Area School Group: An education/transition programme across the ASG in Inverness to enhance employability and literacy skills at the same time.
  • Clyde Gateway: Scotland’s most ambitious regeneration project, has joined up with education to transform the lives of young people in Glasgow’s East End.

The next exemplifications in the series will be released at the beginning of the new term in August.

Learning Families – Intergenerational Approaches to Literacy Teaching and Learning⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

“All of the programmes featured in this publication by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning  share valuable experiences and lessons. They reflect a view of effective learning families whereby each child is a member of a family, and within a learning family every member is a lifelong learner. Among disadvantaged families and communities in particular, a family literacy and learning approach is more likely to break the intergenerational cycle of low education and literacy skills..” (Elfert and Hanermann 2014)

http://uil.unesco.org/fileadmin/keydocuments/Literacy/en/learning-families.pdf